May 24, 2018

Repair Shop Struggling with Customer Retention or Revenue Shortfall? Get Proactive by Going Digital

I’ve always maintained that the automotive aftermarket materialized out of the need for some healthy competition to traditional dealerships who have long dominated because they specialized in the one thing that really mattered to consumers: the experience.

I started my career in automotive at a California BMW dealership as a porter, arranging lot vehicles, staging them for technicians, and delivering them to the service drive when ready. From nice lounge areas to free car washes, it was clear that customers responded to top-notch care. I also noticed that every freshly serviced vehicle included a comprehensive inspection report attached to the repair order. Truth be told, I didn’t grasp their value at first. Yet, every time I brought a car around for pick up, its owner would be thumbing through the inspection.

These sheets contained two parts, the first being a visual inspection immediately after the car was dropped off, which was part of my job. The second was a more detailed service inspection performed by the technician. Most dealerships have a selection of inspection sheets depending on the type of service being performed, but they all served three main purposes:

  • Dealership accountability
  • Recording pre-existing damage
  • Recording and documenting findings and recommendations for easy recall at a future date

The third bullet above is the key, and during my tenure as a porter it became apparent that these seemingly simple inspection sheets were an integral part of selling services. Some service advisors articulated report findings well and would sell additional services immediately, while others preferred to dissect the inspection with the customer in person. Either way, their value as a selling tool was real. Today, this process has gone digital like most things, but is still often overlooked in the aftermarket. However, every shop would agree that if you know a customer’s service history, past recommendations, and preferences the second they walk in the door, it makes selling that much easier.

I often get questions from struggling repair shops as to how they can increase revenue and stand out from competitors, and my first answer is always the same: use inspection sheets for all repair orders! With the right solution they’re quick to create, simple to use, and pay off in the long run. If they’re still not convinced, I challenge them to take CarCheck Pro for a test drive to see for themselves. As a thoroughly modern take on automotive safety inspections, the app enables them to quickly add or retrieve vehicle information from blockchains via an integrated VIN scanner or license plate lookup, select from an extensive library of canned or custom inspection forms, breeze through with step by step interactive guidance, and instantly share with their customers over email or SMS. Not only can it improve technician and service writer efficiency, it provides a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance recommendations while simultaneously boosting consumer trust and retention. Sometimes it’s best to let the numbers do the talking.

Learn more at

Josh Burwick,

Director, Sales and Support